Kerry Statement on Document Release by House Oversight Committee

Via Foreign Policy:

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) compromised the identities of several Libyans working with the U.S. government and placed their lives in danger when he released reams of State Department communications Friday, according to Obama administration officials…

…Issa didn’t bother to redact the names of Libyan civilians and local leaders mentioned in the cables, and just as with the WikiLeaks dump of State Department cables last year, the administration says that Issa has done damage to U.S. efforts to work with those Libyans and exposed them to physical danger from the very groups that had an interest in attacking the U.S. consulate.

Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on the Document Release by Issa’s House Oversight Committee:

“The wholesale release of State Department documents by the House Oversight Committee has exposed Libyan nationals working with the United States to possible danger. This is irresponsible and inexcusable, and perhaps worst of all it was entirely avoidable. It is profoundly against America’s interests in a difficult region.

Oversight and investigation is the job of Congress. I know how to run a real investigation. It’s a responsibility I take personally as someone who spent years in the Senate leading difficult, sensitive, and comprehensive investigations on everything from BCCI and illegal money laundering to the fate of American soldiers missing in Vietnam. I don’t say casually that this release of sensitive materials was a moment of real incompetence and irresponsibility.

The Foreign Relations Committee is committed to getting all the facts about what happened, and we’ve been in regular contact with the Administration to do so. The Committee has sent two letters asking questions, including one signed by all committee members, and we will have another committee briefing as soon as we reconvene. The House committee seems to adopting a very different set of investigative techniques. It’s bad enough that it’s becoming a political sideshow presumably driven by the calendar of Monday’s upcoming presidential debate, but even worse is that in their rush to make news they’ve exposed Libyans who were working side by side with America.”

And David Ignatius notes in the WaPo: “The Romney campaign may have misfired with its suggestion that statements by President Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about the Benghazi attack last month weren’t supported by intelligence, according to documents provided by a senior U.S. intelligence official.”

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